tokyo is in the throes of a full-fledge baumkuchen explosion. i swear, in the last six years in which i’ve traveled there, the baumkuchen craze seems to have reached the same frenzied crescendo as cupcakes in nyc. fortunately, i happen to ADORE baumkuchen (more on my baumkuchen ravings here). walking around the pastry aisles inside tokyo department stores, i felt sheer joy (or was that the adrenalin putting thru my veins?) i witnessed baumkuchens in every permutation. there was even a baumkuchen that resembled a cupcake of sorts — tiny baumkuchen roll on the bottom, and topped with some sort of frosting or buttercream.
while waltzing down ginza, i came across the nenrinya baum kuchen boutique, nestled in the ground floor of the giant matsuzakaya department store. i’ve never tasted baumkuchen from this company before, and thought i’d get in line behind the 30 other baumkuchen crazed tokyo-ites.
nenrinya sells baumkuchen in two flavors: original (which is kind of a vanilla/almond) and chocolate. they also sell two styles of baumkuchen: straight and mount. the former is softer, less sweet, lightly coated with glaze, and is only available in the original flavor. i purchased a small ring of the straight baum that had been made fresh that day and meant for same day consumption (they also sell a version of the straight baum that is vacuum packed to last longer). of course, it still tasted delightfully moist about a week after i purchased it, even without the fancy packaging. i’ve learned to ignore japanese expiration dates (basically add a few days and up to a week to any date they’ve got stamped on).
i also picked up a quarter sliver each of both flavors of the mount baum kuchen. the mount baum kuchen (pictured above) is more heavily coated with glaze, dusted with powdered sugar, and denser with a ridged exterior. i prefer the straight baum kuchen, but it’s nice to mix things up every now and then. plus, the mount baum is just cool looking.
it was a bit hard to take photos inside the jam packed store, and there was a no photo sign, which i didn’t see until i got up to the counter). that said, i did pick up a brochure and scanned in some of their lovely photos for your viewing pleasure. . .